Ministry shows need for comparing prices

Día de la Madre shoppers will find differences of up to 71 percent on identical items, according to a survey by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

The ministry’s Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor reported on another one of its holiday price surveys Friday.

The identical item in question was a Proctor Silex coffee maker in which prices at two stores varied some 7,573 colons. Vast differences also were found in what the surveyors called similar items.

Prices at 24 retail outlets were checked between July 19 and 31. They were in Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago and San José. Prices were checked on electrical appliances and white goods, typical mother’s day presents. The survey also reported average prices for many items.

The surveyors also studied advertising in the printed press and at points of sale. They checked 192 establishments to find that 156 or some 81 percent were following the laws that require truthfulness and clarity of information.

Warning and orders for corrections were handed out when violations were found.

The full survey is on the ministry Web site.

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